OPERATING AREAS:

On our website’s Destinations section, you will be able to see the different regions where we offer travel experiences: Mexico City, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Quintana Roo and Yucatán.

TRAVELING WITH A LOCAL TOUR OPERATOR VS GOING ON MY OWN:

Route design and distances:

In a country as large as Mexico, the distances from one place to the next are big, and the access to some regions is not always an easy one, so you could be designing a trip that when you get to the destination, is not realistic and/or it makes you waste many hours and get many disappointments. We are experts in the regions of Mexico we are introducing you to, so you can be sure that the route chosen is the most suitable.

Service quality:

More often than not, it may happen that the accommodation or activity that you booked is not what you expected, or even that the establishment has lost your reservation. We carry out an important filter process when picking the local
providers who are ready to receive clients, and who will offer a quality service. We live all the experiences ourselves, and visit the accommodations. We also do a constant follow-up of all bookings, to guarantee that on your arrival,
everything is ready!

Price:

You can be sure to be paying a fair price for the activities you are booking, without the need to bargain or feel you are getting overcharged (or the other way around: that you pay such a low price that can only mean that the local supplier does not get enough to guarantee the quality or safety of the service provided). We are very transparent in terms of costs of activities / accommodation / transportation / local guides. We also make sure that all the extra fees are taken into account and explained, so that you don’t end up getting the unpleasant surprise of having to cover unforeseen expenses once you are at the destination.

Safety:

Mexico is our country (or our mother country) and we know it well, so you can relax knowing that you will be travelling on safe areas and that we will be following it up your trip all the way.

Peace of mind:

You can be sure that all unexpected situations (which always happen when you travel to an unknown country and can result into wasting time and money) will be solved in the most efficient way.

Economic benefits for the local community:

We make sure that your payments go to a good end, and that the local community obviously perceives this income, so they can prosper and invest in environmental, cultural or educational projects. You can read more about this on our “Responsible Tourism” section below.

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

On our website’s Our Team section, you will be able to see our mission, vision, values and philosophy.

We summarise it here:

Our tourist proposals are created in a small format. We give visibility to small rural or urban entrepreneurship initiatives, which put in value the natural and cultural heritage of Mexico. We seek to show the real Mexico, by shedding light to those places that are less known and have much charm. We generate more humane and
equitable relations between locals and visitors and try to develop an activity that has a positive impact on the local community in all areas: economic, socio-cultural and environmental.
We offer travel experiences very rich in content, very experiential, which aims to stay in the memory of the traveller. Instead of offering an all-inclusive resort, we will offer charming hotels (that can also be luxury hotels if clients request them), incredible landscapes or quiet beaches.
Not at all. Travel experiences can be presented in many different formats: cultural tourism, ecotourism, spiritual tourism, sun & beach, romantic getaways to idyllic places… Everyone can enjoy a very comfortable accommodation
and private transport. The comfort level will depend on what the client requests. What we can guarantee is that they are unique experiences that you will not live in conventional trips; that you will get to places that you probably would not have found on your own; that you will immerse yourself in the essence and charm of the place.

SCHEDULE TOURS

It is advisable that you program your trip in advance, to make sure that all services are available, as well as the number of nights you wish. Especially if it is high season. For example, in the Yucatan Peninsula, peak season begins in December and ends approximately after Easter. If you wish to make your trip in December, and especially at Christmas, we strongly recommend that you make your reservation with plenty of time, at least 6 to 8 months in advance so that the hotels you want, are available. On the other hand, some hotels in these dates require a minimum of 3 to 7 nights, so the more time we have to plan your trip, the better!

STARTING POINT OF THE TOURS AND TRANSPORTATION AMONG PLACES:

We will make recommendations according to the type of transportation you prefer. You can get there by public transportation and we will pick you up at the bus station; you can use your own car, or hire a shuttle service from your home city. The latter option is more worthwhile when you have a large group, as public transport in Mexico is very comfortable and safe, especially if you choose luxury buses!

It is advisable that you program your trip in advance, to make sure that all services are available, as well as the number of nights you wish. Especially if it is high season. For example, in the Yucatan Peninsula, peak season begins in December and ends approximately after Easter. If you wish to make your trip in December, and especially at Christmas, we strongly recommend that you make your reservation with plenty of time, at least 6 to 8 months in advance so that the hotels you want, are available. On the other hand, some hotels in these dates require a minimum of 3 to 7 nights, so the more time we have to plan your trip, the better!

Yes. This is closely related to the modality of part-time host or full-time host you will see later.

As a standard, you will use different transportations in each place you get to, including the transportation you used from your hometown to the meeting point. That would be the modality of combined transportation.
But if you are part of a large group and prefer to have more comfort in terms of travelling in the same private transport throughout your circuit, this would be the modality of private single transportation or car rental. If you decide that this modality is for you, please let us know and we will send you the corresponding quote.

Categories:

Combined transportation: We will make the best recommendations so that you can reach the tour starting point. Luckily, there are excellent public transport options! When you get to the meeting point, we will pick you up at the station or airport to take you to your accommodation. We will be in charge of your transportation during the duration of the experience in that particular city, town or community, and this transportation will be private, With a driver. When you have to move to the next region or state within your circuit, again we will take you to the bus station to later pick you up at the next destination.

Private single transportationThe same transportation, with a driver, will at your service and that of your companions, throughout the whole circuit. Obviously if you have to take a plane from one state to another, your land transportation will leave you at the airport of departure and a new private transport will pick you up at the airport of arrival. This modality is cheaper if you have a large group, from 8 people onwards. But if that doesn’t worry you and want your trip totally exclusive and private for your group / family, this option is perfect for you. Ask us for the upgrade and we will send you the quote.

Car rental: If you prefer to have the freedom of having your own car and you like driving, this is the perfect choice! In addition, it is usually cheaper than the previous options. We can organise that service because we have collaboration a greements with several car-rental companies. We will choose the most suitable car for you, which of course, has a valid insurance coverage (like with any other transportation). We will give you all the details so that you only need to go to the nearest office (if you arrive by plane, this office would be at the airport) to pick up your car and return it when you finish your holiday.

We do not include international flights, as nowadays there are multiple online search engines, which offer very attractive prices. So generally, it will be more convenient for you, if you are in charge of that part of the trip. We will be in charge of everything from the moment you arrive in Mexico.

Depending on the type of tour, we may include these internal flights or not. But don’t worry, we will always specify this information, together with the price of the tour, under the section “included” and “not included”.

GUIDE AND LOCAL HOSTS:

As we already saw with Transportation, here you also have several options, as long as the trip lasts more than 3 days. As a standard, each time you reach a new place in your circuit, your local host will be waiting for you, who will accompany you on the specific tour or activity. He/she will pick you up at the bus station or hotel, and when the tour is over, he/she will leave you at the agreed place, so that you can travel to the next destination. This would be the modality of the part-time host. However, if you wish someone to accompany you during the entire trip, including transfers, you can request this upgrade to have the modality of the Full-time host, which we will include in your quote.

Categories:

Part-time host: It means that your host will pick you up at the bus station, hotel or at the agreed point, he/she will accompany you during all scheduled activities in that town / city / community, and at the end of the journey, he/she will drop you off at your hotel or bus station, so that you can travel to the next destination. When you get to the next destination, a new host will welcome you. For example, if you purchased a 5-day circuit that includes Mexico City, Puebla and Tlaxcala, you will have a different local host in each place. Each host will always ensure that you arrive safely to your next meeting point.

Full-time host (applicable to trips that last more than 3 days): This category means that a host will accompany you throughout the whole circuit, whichever the destination in the trip, including transfers. This is usually related to the use of the same transportation. For example, if you purchased a 12-day circuit that includes the states of Veracruz, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, this person will be with you at all times, as well as your local guides for each site you visit.

Yes. As part of our responsible tourism policy, hiring a local tour guide is part of our principles and it is very beneficial in many aspects:

  • For host community:
    • Creating employment opportunities and making sure that the tourism revenue remains in the community.
    • Empowering the community and making them proud of their culture.
    • Creating a closer interrelationship between the traveller and the local community.
  • For the client:
    • Learning about the history of the place, told by a person that grew in the area and is passionate about it.
    • Getting to know other aspects of the place, as its culture, customs, and even interesting myths and legends.
    • Creating a lifetime experience instead of “one more tour”.
This applies to all of our travel experiences, including weekend trips.

PRICE: WHAT IS INCLUDED & NOT INCLUDED AND WHAT ELEMENTS CAN MAKE IT VARY

Usually not. Breakfasts are generally included, and some meals when you stay with rural communities. In this case, we will also specify which meal is included and which not.

In most cases, it is not. It is included only when it is specifically stated otherwise, usually with organised group travel. However, if you wish that we arrange that part of your trip, please let us know and we will be happy to send you a quote for that service.

This is the standard, but it may vary depending on the type of tour or the region visited:

We generally include breakfasts, internal transportation during the trip, accommodation, some workshops, entry fees to archaeological sites, and tour guides.

We generally don’t include alcoholic beverages (unless it is a themed tour, such as the pulque or mezcal route), several meals (those not specified), transportation from your home city / international flights, personal expenses and tips.

The Price will vary depending on several factors:

  • The time of year you travel (in high season, prices go up significantly, and it is likely that some hotels require a minimum of 3 to 7 nights stay).
  • Availability of the hotels included in the experience, and the type desired (charming hotels, boutique hotels, haciendas…)
  • Language required for the tours, or even your host’s language.
  • How long in advance you make your booking (the earlier you book, the cheaper the prices, and the more chances for your preferred hotel to be available).
  • Desired type of transport (for small groups of 2-6 people, using public transportation for certain journeys, or renting a car, it is cheaper than hiring private transport with driver).
  • Type the host desired (just using local guides in each location, or adding a host to accompany you throughout your entire trip).

NUMBER OF PEOPLE, AGES AND SPECIAL CONDITIONS:

Yes. The only thing to consider is the minimum number of participants required for each travel experience. There will be a surcharge if you are traveling alone, because the minimum is usually 2 or 4 people

Yes, and do not forget to let us know! Because on the one hand we will see if certain discounts apply and on the other, we will take it into consideration to ensure that the trip is fun for them. If the activity itself is quieter, maybe we can integrate a workshop in which they can participate.

Yes, and do not forget to let us know! Because on the one hand we will see if certain discounts apply and on the other, we will take it into consideration to ensure that the trip is fun for them. If the activity itself is quieter, maybe we can integrate a workshop in which they can participate.

Yes, once again! Please do not forget to let us know at the time of booking! That way we can make sure that you always have options.

Usually excursions are private for you and your group. However, if you are on a low budget and don’t mind travelling with other people (which can also be very enriching), please let us know to see if there are scheduled excursions on the different places you will visit during your trip. The region chosen will also be a factor. For example, in the Mayan Riviera, some excursions can be very expensive if they are done privately.

COMFORT LEVES:

In most cases, yes. Among the accommodation options available in each place, we will choose top hotels and we will let you know the cost of this upgrade. Travelling responsibly does not necessarily mean simple accommodation! Your accommodation can be as exclusive and upscale as you want. However, please do make this request when requesting your personalised quote, to ensure that you have these options.

It is important to consider that when choosing your accommodation, we bear in mind several aspects:

  • That it is as close as possible to the city/town centre we are visiting. That is, it is ideal when you can take some time off after a tour, or in the middle of the day, without having to take a taxi to move around. We love being able to walk everywhere!
  • That the accommodation is owned and operated by the local community.
  • That the accommodation uses sustainable management practices: both environmentally (recycling, energy saving, use of renewal energies, etc) and socio-culturally (employing local community, with a design that is in line with the culture and architecture of the region, etc).
  • That it has charm and personality.

On this basis, the accommodation categories we offer, are as follows:

Accommodation in eco-cabins:

Simple but with basic amenities and clean. There are many different levels of comfort, but they all have a lot of charm. Most have all services and a private bathroom. But when an eco-cabin lacks certain comforts, such as hot water, we will always add this information on the trip proposal. These cabins are owned and managed by rural cooperatives.

Accommodation in small charming hotels:

We prefer to offer this type of accommodation than large hotel chains. We will only choose chain hotels when there are no other options in the area we are visiting, and of course, we prioritise those that use environmental practices. We prefer not to work with all-inclusive resorts.

High standard accommodation:

We work with boutique hotels, excellent quality haciendas and high-class hotels, which ensure a unique experience of comfort.

MORE INFORMATION ON A TRIP

You have several ways to do this. When you are looking at a specific travel experience on our website, on the right hand side there is a short form that you can fill out and submit. This form is ideal because it will tell us what specific experience you are interested in. There is also a general form on the top menu called CONTACT. Lastly, on the upper right hand side of our website, our telephone numbers, email address and even our Facebook page, are indicated.

Please do not forget to give us the following details, whichever means you use for contacting us:

  • Name, email address and telephone number (sometimes, there are typing errors on the email address, so the phone number will allow us to give you a call and let you know).
  • Number of people in your group.
  • Age of travellers, special needs, etc.
  • Travel experience that you liked on our website.
  • Desired travel dates and length of the trip.
  • City of origin.
  • Which modality of trip would you like to travel (the standard: combined transport and part-time host; private single transportation and full time host, ¡or travelling with your own car or a rented one!)

Yes, but to speed up the process and adapt better to your needs, please provide us with all necessary data (please see above) and let us know which specific travel experience published on our website, you would like this customisation for.

It is important that you are aware that designing a new travel experience consumes a lot of time, energy and effort; especially in our case, as we include so many elements in each experience. So we kindly ask you that you check first the standard options that we have, the type of accommodation proposed and the estimated price. If the options available and the prices are suitable for you and you are ready to book the trip, but you need a few adjustments for your group/family, we will be happy to adapt the experience to you.

RESERVATIONS: PAYMENT METHODS AND BOOKING & CANCELLATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

You have several ways to do this. When you are looking at a specific travel experience on our website, on the right hand side there is a short form that you can fill out and submit. This form is ideal because it will tell us what specific experience you are interested in. There is also a general form on the top menu called CONTACT. Lastly, on the upper right hand side of our website, our telephone numbers, email address and even our Facebook page, are indicated.

Please do not forget to give us the following details, whichever means you use for contacting us:

  • Name, email address and telephone number (sometimes, there are typing errors on the email address, so the phone number will allow us to give you a call and let you know).
  • Number of people in your group.
  • Age of travellers, special needs, etc.
  • Travel experience that you liked on our website.
  • Desired travel dates and length of the trip.
  • City of origin.
  • Which modality of trip would you like to travel (the standard: combined transport and part-time host; private single transportation and full time host, ¡or travelling with your own car or a rented one!)

At the bottom of our website, there is a section called General Terms and Conditions.

However, you will be able to see the specific terms and conditions of your trip on your proforma invoice and your travel contract.

You will need to send us an email to contacto@totonal.com to inform us about your intention of cancelling your trip, and we will reply to you, to let you know what the next step is.  If we have not replied, please send your email again or give us a call +52 222 888 5627, as your email might have gone to spam and it is important to have your notification as soon as possible.

It is advisable that you program your trip in advance, to make sure that all services are available, as well as the number of nights you wish. Especially if it is high season. For example, in the Yucatan Peninsula, peak season begins in December and ends approximately after Easter. If you wish to make your trip in December, and especially at Christmas, we strongly recommend that you make your reservation with plenty of time, at least 6 to 8 months in advance so that the hotels you want, are available. On the other hand, some hotels in these dates require a minimum of 3 to 7 nights, so the more time we have to plan your trip, the better!

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • On trips where there are trekking expeditions through the forest or the jungle, we highly recommend that you take insect repellent, comfortable closed shoes and a hat for the sun.
  • Also a flashlight for when it gets dark.
  • If you are allergic to any insects, please do not forget your medication (and also notify us about this point when we are preparing your trip).
  • Try to pack lightly. If you go to a community in the midst of nature, a wheeled suitcase might not be so practical. In these cases, a large backpack is usually a better option. Put in your luggage also a smaller backpack to carry on small excursions.
  • As a protection from the sun, take sunscreen (or even a rash vest to cover yourself better in certain excursions), sunglasses and cap. It is best that both sunscreen and mosquito repellent are biodegradable.
  • It is always useful to take some ointment or cream to relieve discomfort from mosquito bites. Also aloe vera in case you get sunburnt.
  • In mountainous regions, during the hot season, take light clothes for the day, but always put a sweater in your suitcase for the evenings. In the rainy season, do not forget your raincoat!
  • We will make specific recommendations on every trip you make, so that you do not have to worry about anything ?.

For Mexico, you do not need any vaccines in particular. Just keep up-to-date on your usual vaccinations.

Please do not forget your passport / personal documents, credit card and travel visa. When you are planning your trip, check with the consulate or embassy what visa requirements apply to you. Usually their websites offer that information.

  • In Mexico, the currency is the Mexican peso. It is always going to be better for you to pay with the local currency, instead of paying with dollars. Therefore, we recommend that you change your currency to Mexican pesos and not make any other unnecessary changes. Airports always have exchange offices.It is always advisable to travel with a credit card in order to withdraw cash once at the destination, or even pay with the card in some instances, so you don’t carry so much cash with you. However, before you leave your country, make sure you inform your bank about the dates you are going to be away, so that they authorise your withdrawals while on holiday.

We recommend that when you hire your trip, you also hire travel insurance, so that you are covered in case of any incident, such as medical expenses, baggage loss, or any other given situation.

POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE COMMENTS:

Please let us know as soon as possible so that we can take corrective actions. Please talk to your local host and to us, so that we can try and make the appropriate changes right when your discomfort happens, or for the rest of your trip.

At the end of your travel experience, we will ask you to fill out a customer satisfaction survey.  This survey is very useful to as, as it gives us very useful information on what we are doing right or wrong, and make sure that future trips meet our clients’ expectations fully. We learn every day from your feedback.

Again, you can let us know through our customer satisfaction survey!

And of course, travelling with us again!

TAKE ANOTHER STEP:

If you like what we do and wish to get involved in a particular Project, please let us know. There are many valuable initiatives that need support, and communities will be very grateful for any contribution that you can offer, according to your possibilities (monetary, work, or other).

Talk to your peers about how enriching it is to take this kind of trips, and spread the word about responsible tourism!!!

We recommend that when you hire your trip, you also hire travel insurance, so that you are covered in case of any incident, such as medical expenses, baggage loss, or any other given situation.